“At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder, so that a man sitting in a chair might suddenly understand that he was actually alive, and be happy.” - G. K. Chesterton
Reflections on Catholic Education
According to Chesterton, the object of the artistic and spiritual life is to foster wonder at the beauty and majesty of creation and of life, and thus to awaken gratitude to God for the gift of life, no matter how ordinary that life may sometimes seem. I believe this is also one of the objects of Catholic education. To inspire a child to wonder at the world and praise God is one of the greatest gifts we can give him, for these are the tools which help him live a rich human life.
In my senior thesis at Thomas More College, I examined St. John Henry Newman’s claim that man is more than logical reason, and that knowing many facts does not necessarily lead to living a good life. In order for the whole person to be well formed, he must acknowledge the reality of God, his own fallen nature, and his need for God. Only then can a person be transformed, in order to live virtuously and to achieve his final end, which is happiness in the sight of God. This is what Catholic education should impart to children—both academic formation and formation of character. This is what a Catholic school should do—not only teach children facts (an important thing indeed); but also help them see how those facts relate to reality; show them the beauty of truth and of creation; help them become “intelligent lovers,” as one of my professors expressed it; and help them know, love, and serve God with their whole lives. All this can only be accomplished by digging for that “submerged sunrise of wonder.” - Ms. Magdalena Dajka
Magdalena Dajka graduated from the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. As a student at Thomas More College, she spent four years steeped in a deeply and unabashedly Catholic culture. Having been given such beautiful gifts through her education there, she is excited to do her part in passing those gifts on to others through teaching at a Catholic school. Magdalena has always enjoyed working with children; over the last few years, she has tutored elementary school children and taught classes in music, math, and crocheting. She is delighted to be part of the joyfully Catholic community of Mount Royal Academy, in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. In her free time, Magdalena enjoys playing the violin, singing with friends, reading great literature and poetry, working on needlework projects, and exploring forests and meadows.